Civil-society organizations and people’s movements from Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia on Wednesday called on the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to end its financing and support for gas, coal, and oil consistent with its own energy policy review to demonstrate meaningful climate leadership and end its support for fossil fuels.
Glenn Ymata, Energy Campaigner of the NGO Forum said the new international coalition aims to influence the bank to rewrite its energy policy to align it with the global call to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and avert catastrophic impacts of climate change.
Ymata said that if the ADB is indeed committed to the Paris goal, it must stop supporting fossil fuels and withdraw its remaining investments in the current and pipelined fossil fuel-based projects.
“To rectify ADB’s long-standing mistake, financing and investments should be channeled to rapid deployment of renewable-energy projects. It must provide affordable energy to poor communities through smart microgrids and initiate a just transition strategy intended to increase human capacity and resiliency,” he said.
Calling itself the Fossil Free ADB Coalition, the new group is composed of civil-society organizations and people’s movements from Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia coming together to launch the “Fossil Free ADB” campaign “to pressure the ADB” to use its own energy policy review and demonstrate meaningful climate leadership.
According to an ADB energy sector evaluation report, the “current policy is no longer adequately aligned with the global consensus on climate change.”
The ADB is currently revising its 2009 energy policy, which will guide its investment decisions for the next decade.
The Fossil Free ADB Coalition noted that since its energy policy was released, the bank has spent roughly $10 billion on fossil fuel projects and is in fact ramping up its financing of fossil gas projects.
It cited the controversial Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India gas pipeline. The ADB also funded the Rupsha 800 megawatt Combined Cycle Power Plant in Bangladesh despite its proximity to the river-systems of the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, threatening the livelihoods of about 1,500 fisherfolk communities.
The coalition said ADB’s continued support for fossil fuels undermines its mission to achieve a “prosperous, sustainable, inclusive and resilient” Asia and the Pacific and undercuts its commitment to climate action.
Image credits: AP/Sam McNeil